"Ouroboros" by Nejla Yatkin at Links Hall

Event Type
Event Description

Ouroboros by Nejla Yatkin is an evening-length interactive theatrical solo dance that takes the audience on a transformative journey. Set in the round, the performance's original composition, ASL translation, and a fusion of dance styles, including contemporary and Middle Eastern dance. The piece draws inspiration from the ancient snake dances of the Middle East and centers around the powerful symbol of ouroboros.

From the moment the audience enters the space, they are transported into a nomadic tent setting. Greeted with the delicate scent of rosewater and tantalizing Turkish delights, they embark on a captivating experience that celebrates the life-affirming power of a gathering circle. Through dance, song (sung live by Nejla), and live finger cymbal/zill play, the performance weaves together multiple languages (English, German, Turkish, Movement, and ASL) and invites active audience participation in a journey of memory, place, paradoxes, and the cyclical nature of time and culture.

March 8-10, 2024 at 7:00pm

Guggenheim Fellow Nejla Yatkin is a visionary choreographer based in Chicago, whose work has been described as magical. The New York Times has lauded her “fierce and supple” performance style and her ability to weave personal histories and universal stories into a holistic and captivating performance. Raised in the walled city of West Berlin, Nejla comes from a lineage of nomadic tribes at the crossroads of cultures in Anatolia. Her diverse cultural background infuses her work with a unique movement style that reflects her curiosity and love for the expressive power of movement. Nejla’s interdisciplinary approach to dance is wide-ranging as it is innovative. From solo performances and choreography for theater and other dance companies to installations in public spaces, film, and augmented reality, Nejla’s creations are infused with a deep curiosity for the eloquence of movement and its ability to connect people across cultures. Driven by a profound curiosity and desire to understand the “deep currents” that connect us all, Nejla’s art invites us on a journey of exploration and discovery. Her work has earned her numerous grants and awards, including recognition from the Princess Grace Foundation, The, Baryshnikov Art Center, Chicago Dancemakers Forum, 3Arts, National Dance Project Award, and the John F. Kennedy Center.

Links Hall Co-Commissioning Fellowship, Sybil Shearer Fellowship Award from the Morrison Shearer Foundation, Finalist Grant from the National Dance Project, DCASE Esteemed Artist Award and Dank Haus in Chicago.

Ouroboros is a National Performance Network (NPN) Creation & Development Fund Project co- commissioned by MECA, Art2Action, Dance Complex and NPN. More information: www.npnweb.org.

Ouroboros was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts' National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Running Time
1 hour, 30 minutes
Dance Styles
Modern / Contemporary
Traditional/Indigenous Dance


Links Hall

3111 N. Western Ave. at Constellation
Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 281-0824